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Author Topic: EP688: A Most Elegant Solution  (Read 1585 times)


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on: July 12, 2019, 09:11:55 PM
Escape Pod 688: A Most Elegant Solution

Author : M. Darusha Wehm
Narrator : Abra Staffin-Wiebe
Host : Divya Breed
Audio Producer : Summer Brooks

This story originally appeared in Terraform in April 2018.


I always said I wanted to be one of the first to die on Mars. I never wanted to be the last. But here I am.

I can’t even tell the others apart now. I know that inside those vaguely undulating metal cocoons are the bodies of the rest of my team—Marshall, Cherie, Gem and Abdul. Which squirming ovoid contains whom—there’s no way to tell.

And I’m about to join them. The swarm has already engulfed my legs. I can’t feel anything below the knee, which is a kind of relief. Devoured by my own creations is a terrible enough way to die—at least it probably won’t hurt.

I know I should be mourning the others, or desperately trying to save myself, but I don’t feel anything like that now. Maybe this is a side effect of the paralysis, maybe it’s not just a physical but an emotional anesthesia. Because all I can think about is how I got here. How we all got to be here, lying on the floor of our brand new habitation buildings, smothered by tiny robots.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


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Reply #1 on: August 30, 2019, 11:32:24 PM
Be careful what your program says...

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 03:48:42 PM
Excellent example of emergent behaviour in non-intelligent robots and robot systems. This was a really hot topic of study in robotics during the 1980's and 90's. Really cool to see a story written with this as a premise.

That said, I would NOT want to be modified to suit my environment. At least not that much.   :)